I want to thank the Cervical Spine Research Society (CSRS) for providing me the opportunity to be the 2021-22 President. During this term, my aim is to help develop the society in three specific areas. First, have the society better understand ourselves in terms of our short- and long-range goals and objectives. The Executive Committee has decided to undergo an internal and external audit of the members needs, as well as explore how we can better meet their future needs. We are evolving from a society with an annual meeting to an educational society, which propagates information through meetings, internet based education, international courses and the recently added CSRS Journal. I am fully confident, that with our members’ commitment to education and research, this will be the premier journal in the field. Lastly, the COVID pandemic has resulted in significant isolation but also has highlighted how small the world is through tele-communication. We have developed an extremely successful collaboration with both CSRS Asia Pacific and CSRS Europe. Our goals align and we are in the process of collaborating through education and publication initiatives.
The Publications Committee, led by Dr. Sheeraz Qureshi over last year, has been very successful with the development and expansion of CSRS social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. However, what is most excited is the growth, development and expansion of our affiliated journal Clinical Spine Surgery. Wolters Kluwer and CSRS have finalized an agreement to further establish a closer relationship and change the journal’s direction to be aligned with cervical spine research and education. Dr. Gregory Schroeder is the present editor and he will maintain this position as we build this journal into a global educational platform with the assistance of our CSRS Asia Pacific and European members.
The Education & Special Projects Committees, under direction of past-president, Dr. John Rhee, and the guidance of Drs. Michael Gerling & Greg Schroeder have been successful with the following new initiatives. I encourage you to explore our website and review what we have to offer.
- The CSRS Video Archive is a repository of lectures, debates and symposia presented at an Annual Meeting, Instructional Course Lecture, and Hands-On Surgical Techniques Course, from 2020 forward. The videos can be searched in a variety of ways, such as by words in the title, keywords, speaker, and year of presentation. This archive will function, in essence, as a video textbook of cervical spine surgery, but - unlike a traditional textbook - one that is continually updated and expanded from CSRS, the most authoritative organization on cervical spine research and education.
- CSRS developed patient education materials on neck pain, cervical myelopathy, and cervical radiculopathy. These can be viewed and downloaded on the CSRS website by patients and surgeons. We hope to continue the development of new materials this year.
In 2021, Dr. Rick Sasso started a CSRS Hands-On Surgical Techniques Course, designed for residents and fellows to learn alongside “seasoned” faculty. This course was so successful that we will hold it again this year July 21-23. Watch our website for registration/application information.
As you are hopefully aware, we initiated a successful CSRS Cervical Spine Registry through the guidance of Drs. Ghogawala and Protopsaltis. This registry is open for all members to participate, and we hope you take advantage of it. (Please reach out to Dr. Ghogawala for more information on how you can be involved.) We are working to maintain financial independence of the registry and believe it will become a resource in future years to aid our patients.
Lastly, we hope that next year you will be sure to join us, as we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Annual Meeting. Drs. Ghogawala, Kwon and Wright will lead this celebratory meeting in San Diego, California, November 17-19, 2022. Be sure to save the date! Further, the Instructional Course will again be a hybrid format under the direction of Drs. Wilson & Mroz. (Monday & Tuesday will be virtual and Wednesday will be available live for those in San Diego and can be viewed on-demand for those who cannot join us.) New this year, is that the ICL will be available free of charge for anyone to watch, (CME will incur a small fee).
James Harrop, MD
2022 CSRS President